It is always amazing to observe how the Biden administration and Democrats ignore the preferences of the American people in deference to their own political ambitions. It is also interesting to note that they insist Biden won fair and square but they are also clinging to election law exceptions ostensibly put in place due to the pandemic — and presenting them as the norm for the future. Even though no one is really buying their “Jim Crow 2.0” narrative, they continue to charge ahead.
On Wednesday, the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a guidance document warning states about the election security laws under consideration or already signed into law. According to a DOJ press release:
“The right of all eligible citizens to vote is the central pillar of our democracy, and the Justice Department will use all of the authorities at its disposal to zealously guard that right,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The guidances issued today describe certain federal laws that help ensure free, fair, and secure elections. Where violations of such laws occur, the Justice Department will not hesitate to act.”
None of the laws proposed post-2020 impair free, fair, and secure elections. Instead, they try to find balance among those three items after a highly unusual election in 2020 with local and state pandemic exceptions that state legislatures did not pass. These included various items among the states, including eliminating signature verification, accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day, and even 24-hour drive-through voting in Austin, Texas.
Most of the laws seek to reverse the pandemic exceptions that impaired election security, in order to restore voter confidence. Protections like voter ID and a prohibition on ballot harvesting, in combination with the opportunity to vote early and to utilize absentee ballots, are popular with a majority of voters. Establishment Democrats favor no election security law. Just look at Democrat trifectas like California.
In several states, changes also included prohibiting outside funding of individual election offices. The Center for Technology and Civic Life gave grants with strings attached to particular counties in particular states. This funding allowed those counties to create Democrat turnout machines in swing-state urban areas. This influx of cash made the dollars per registered voter wildly uneven, and it is easy to make a case that spending by population is part of equal protection under the laws.
For example, in Fulton County, Georgia, which I affectionately call the Broward County of the Peach State, there were mobile voting vans and unmonitored drop boxes. There is no argument that eliminating these things impairs free or fair elections. In fact, eliminating them arguably increases security. Dropboxes will still be available in polling locations for voters to return their no-excuse absentee ballot if they prefer. Of course, they can return them postage-free via their mailbox, as well.
The DOJ has already filed a politically-motivated lawsuit against the new Georgia law, alleging that legislators created it specifically to suppress the black vote. The suit provided no data to support this claim, and Georgia Attorney Chris Carr is seeking to have it dismissed. Carr’s brief, as well as one filed by Greater Georgia, cites the recent Supreme Court decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee:
“VRA [Voting Right Act] requires ‘proof’ that the challenged state law or regulation establishes processes that ‘are not equally open to participation’ by members of a protected class… ‘[T]he mere fact that there is some disparity in impact,’ even if shown to exist, does not establish a violation.”
The guidance and lawsuits currently being filed by the DOJ could be related to H.R.4. It is a shot over the bow to red states, many of which were in pre-clearance due to historical discrimination based on a formula that used data from 1972 to measure minority participation. This status meant that the DOJ had to review and approve any election law changes in the state before they could be implemented.
The Supreme Court declared the formula unconstitutional in 2013 in Shelby County v. Holder. The Court left Congress the option to add a new formula which H.R. 4, known as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, creates. The legislation bases the new formula on lawsuits. If a state or subordinate jurisdiction, such as a county, settles or loses a lawsuit, it will count against that jurisdiction. After a certain threshold number of these cases, the state or jurisdiction goes into pre-clearance with the DOJ.
It is easy to see how this creates an environment open to lawfare and potential abuse of power by the DOJ. For example, no left-wing group will ever sue Delaware. Yet, the state has no early voting, does not provide any no-excuse absentee balloting or drop boxes, does not allow ballot harvesting, and requires voter ID. Voters are also required to announce their name and party affiliation, in case anyone wants to challenge their vote. On the other hand, Georgia, which codified dropboxes and has no-excuse absentee balloting, will be sued into oblivion and forced to defend itself not to end up in pre-clearance.
All because people 60 years ago made awful decisions when Georgia was a state of 2 million residents. It is now a diverse, multi-cultural state of over 10 million residents from all over the world that happens to vote for lots of Republicans. Of course, we are told that the Biden DOJ is not political at all, not like that Trump henchman Bill Barr. It is just a coincidence that the Biden DOJ pushes every narrative the administration does, from white supremacist domestic terrorism to voter suppression, without evidence.
The Biden DOJ and Democrats know the current law has nothing to do with “Jim Crow.” This power grab is about winning elections through insecure balloting. Perhaps they know it is the only way they can maintain power.